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A Penguin Nursery for the Baby I’m Stealing

I’m stealing a baby.

I know that’s typically frowned-upon, but my motivations are pure: I just want to decorate another nursery. Fortunately, my sister-in-law Tiffany is having a little boy this summer, so I’ll just take her baby.
Fun maternity photo

Isn’t she beautiful? My kids are going to have some gorgeous cousins. COUSINS. Plural. Right Tiffany?

Or maybe I’ll let her keep the baby and I’ll just decorate the nursery virtually. That way I won’t have to change the diapers, so win-win, right?

Tiffany lives far far away from me, so I can’t be there to help her redo the room in real life. This also complicates my baby-theft plans. Instead, I offered to help virtually begged her to let me play around with ideas from here. She has a beautiful old house chock-full of character, and a sweet little room just off the master for a nursery.

She already picked out a crib and changing table:

graco sarah crib espresso brown
And she was inspired by this cute little onesie to make a penguin-themed nursery:
carters penguin onesie

With this as a starting point, I started pretend-shopping and had lots of fun checking out what etsy had to offer. I fell in love with this print:
Penguin balloon print nursery

Penguin and a Red Balloon, by Psuedooctopus on etsy

Because their nursery is on the small side, I thought fresh, chunky horizontal stripes on the wall could be fun and help open it up a little:
Turquoise and Orange penguin nursery

I added in this pendant light, a fun orange chevron fabric for the crib skirt and this sweet polka-dot minky fabric blanket, combined with a cozy sheepskin rug (for taking naked-butt photos of the baby, of course).

Okay, since you begged, here’s Weston on a sheepskin rug at three months.
Baby on a sheepskin rug

See? Babies love sheepskin.

And here’s the changing table wall:
turquoise orange baby boy penguin nursery
Those penguins running away and jumping into an abyss are actually from this cool vinyl wall decal, and I think they’d be fun leaping off the changing table into the icy cold carpet water. I also loved those art pieces, because my mother-in-law (Tiffany’s mom) always sings “You are my Sunshine” to our kids, and the turquoise, orange and red are kinda perfect with that penguin print I put above the crib, right?


I remembered that Tiffany’s walls are kind of that old textured plaster, and stripes might be hard to paint. (But they might NOT, who knows. I’m far away.) So I played around with another plan that assumes solid-colored walls. Because it’s a small room, I chose a light aqua:

Not having stripes on the wall freed me up to use stripes in the bedding, and so I found this fabric for the crib bedding:


I also liked this fabric, but I couldn’t make it look right in photoshop, so pretend like this is another option for the crib bedding:

And I loved the idea of an orange rug like this one from Land of Nod:
I’d also add in this guy, because, come on.
Plush penguin for nursery
From campfireculture on etsy

And this would be cute for tiny little Albert*:
From bunchofbees on etsy

*There’s no indication the baby will be named Albert.

Thanks for letting me borrow your unborn baby for my own selfish decorating fun, Tiffany! You can have him back now… just in time for childbirth.

What do you think? What lengths would you go to for the chance to pretend-decorate a nursery? 🙂

Let's connect


  1. None of my friends want my help. They prefer to slap Winnie the Pooh on the wall. *forehead slap*

  2. this design is so cute!!! i love the fun colors!

  3. Kelly,

    I love this! A penguin nursery for Albert 🙂

    The colors are amazing and so different and fun!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. That last print is to DIE for! You did such a good job making a theme not look too theme-y … does that make any sense?

    • I was thinking the same thing about the theme but not too theme-y! You go girl. You could probably open a baby-stealing nursery-decorating business if such a thing should ever be considered socially acceptable.

  5. When/If…. If (who am I kidding!) the time comes I will so let you decorate my nursery for realzies. 😉

  6. Love both options! Especially the stripes. What a fun theme with the penguins! I bet she loves that she has someone so talented to give her some fun ideas for the space!

  7. This looks so cute! Love the colors you picked and that penguin print with the balloon is insanely adorable!

  8. Kelly- I’m so glad to see that Mila hasn’t slowed you down and you are up for virtual redecorating! Baby nurseries are the best. Plus if you virtually decorate them you don’t need to in-real-life pay for them!


  9. I love those penguins jumping off the changing table … though, not sure we want to give the babies any wrong ideas!



  10. I’m having a virtual baby. It’s a girl, design a room for me too. I’ll tell you what ideas I want, the size of the room (my daughters original room is being vacated by her brother, so I really do have an extra room) and you can have at it. Then, when the baby is grown, which is what – one month in virtual baby time – you can turn it into a craft room for me.


  11. Those are some great designs, loving the big blue stripes on the wall and the sheepskin rug is perfect for babies. That picture of Weston was adorable, thank you for giving me baby fever. Maybe tell me that Mila is up all night crying or something so it goes away soon. Otherwise I might take MIla when I’m down in your neck of the woods. Your kids are model perfect babies btw.

  12. love this! i can imagine obsessing about plaster walls and trying to get the stripes exactly straight :). lucky for her, your design with the solid color is just as beautiful!

  13. I think you rock at decorating! You should have a Decorating 101 series, where you explain to people (like me) who have no clue, what general rules lead you to such amazing plans!! 🙂

  14. A penguin themed nursery! AH! So cute! Love the etsy finds 🙂

  15. Hi Kelly,
    I am 37, have six kiddos, (yes, six.. this is usually where everyone goes spaz-o on me.) Anyway, I just have to comment that even though my “baby girls” are 5 now (twins), I just love reading your blog. I happened upon you before you had Mila. I was trying to search out helpful sites for choosing colors for the downstairs of our new home we are building…. I didn’t find any help, but I did find your new post on the nursery and I promptly subscribed because I love your personality that comes out in your writing. You are my favorite blog that I get all because of how funny your posts are!!! I love feeling like I am chatting and laughing with you… although it is a totally one-sided conversation… YOU do all of the talking… 😉 SO, just wanted to drop you a few lines and let you know I love seeing something new from you in my inbox. Have a great week..
    OH and if you have some tips on help in choosing colors for living areas, kitchen, and master bedrooms, please feel free to give advice. I do not have your natural talent!!!! I am not a shopper!!! But love pretty and homey…. So, I really need HELP!
    Thanks, Audrey

  16. My heart melted with all the penguin paraphernalia! So adorable! Here’s hoping that stripes can be easily achievable because they are awesome!

  17. You have wonderful taste and great ideas… but stealing a baby isn’t one of them. 😉 That’s one lucky SIL to have you to help out. Want to come to my house? Junior’s room is in totaly disarray…

  18. Love it! I think I like the solid walls with the fun bedding more anyway. Any ideas for a one-bedroom place with a baby on the way? I’ve had no luck.

  19. I LOVE that penguin watercolor!! You have such a great eye for decorating!

  20. Adorable Kelly! I have a feeling penguins are the new elephant…just sayin’

  21. Love it all! The penguins are too freakin cute. You really came up with some fabulous designs Kelly but then again you always do : )

  22. What a fun color scheme! And penguins! So creative. I’m a sucker for stripes, so of course I love that. Adorable.

  23. What a creative idea! Love it….


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